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You’ve likely seen Candlelight Concerts all over your social media feeds: symphonic interpretations of some of music’s most popular artists, held in intimate venues and set to flickering candlelight. Recently, in Vancouver’s Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church, a string quartet performed tributes to both the Bee Gees and Ludovico Einaudi.
The concerts are put on by Fever, a live entertainment platform launched in 2014 in Madrid, Spain, with a mission to democratize access to culture and entertainment. The platform organizes unique and locally-centred events around the world, from immersive exhibitions to interactive theatre experiences.
Luc Faure, Fever’s PR & Communications Manager, tells the Straight that local teams in over 100 cities support the concerts’ production.
“We utilize a data-driven approach and develop our programs based on a combination of recommendations from our in-house curation team and research that takes into account global metrics and feedback from our audience and musicians,” Faure says.
Candlelight Concerts were initially conceived in 2019 as a classical music series of works from composers such as Vivaldi, Mozart, and Chopin. Now, it spans genre and theme, featuring tributes to contemporary artists ranging from Taylor Swift and BTS to Queen and ABBA, as well as movie soundtracks like E.T. and Star Wars—everything illuminated by thousands of flameless LED candles to create a serene atmosphere. Some concerts also have other elements, too, like ballet dance or aerial performance, adding to the multi-sensory experience.
Along with satisfying a wide range of music tastes—there’s truly something for everyone—this also allows for shows geared to specific locations. Across Canada, for example, there is an exclusive tribute to Céline Dion, one of the greatest singers of all time (ahem, Rolling Stone!), giving symphonic treatment to her best-loved hits.
In this way, Candlelight seeks to make classical music more accessible to audiences and showcase its potential, while challenging where it can go. Plus, interpreting different genres or song structures, or well-known lyrics, through different instrumental lenses can offer new or deeper meaning to even the most die-hard fans.
One of the most important elements of Candlelight, though, is that it aims to create new opportunities for local musicians.
In Vancouver, Fever regularly collaborates with ensembles including the Listeso String Quartet, Somerset Trio, and Malcolm Aiken Quartet—and they’re looking to add to their roster.
“We are always hiring talented local musicians who align with our belief that classical music can reach a diverse audience and demonstrate this by performing compositions for all tastes,” Faure says.
Upcoming Candlelight Concerts in Vancouver include tributes to Radiohead on February 3 (the orchestral rendering of the “Paranoid Android” breakdown promises to be mind-blowing), Fleetwood Mac on February 4, and Japanese film composer Joe Hisaishi on March 3, all at Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church; and Beyoncé at Christ Church Cathedral on February 26.
The full list of Candlelight Concerts in Vancouver can be found here.